Beware Virus And Malware During Covid-19

As if the economic downturn wasn't hard enough there are now very real risks to business from viruses and malware during COVID-19.

Here are some tips from our major partners at Ambient IT on how to protect your business from malicious online attacks.

If you thought you didn’t need protection, think again!

Malware is software specifically designed to disrupt, damage, or gain unauthorised access to a computer system. In plain English, malware is bad, in fact it’s very bad. With the increasing complexity of malware and ransomware attacks, more and more businesses are ground to a halt dealing with the devastating effects an attack can have. 

The estimated cost of cybercrime in Australia in 2019 was over $29 billion including the costs to prevent it. The question must be asked; are we wasting our money trying to protect against it? Simply, the answer is no. With the average cost of a cyber-attack on a business being $276,323 the cost of implementing a solid antivirus, antimalware and edge protection (firewall or similar) solution is well worth it, even if it’s only considered as an insurance measure. 

So, this leads to the next question; why is malware dangerous? Malware and Ransomware attacks have been on the rise due to the increased profitability of these types of attacks from cybercriminals. With the average ransom reaching an impressive $36,295 and the near impossibility of tracking payments through cryptocurrency, cybercriminals see this as an easy and reasonably safe way to make a lot of money quickly. In the first month of 2020, Toll Group, one of Australia’s largest logistics companies was brought to its knees by a crippling ransomware attack. The cost of their IT recovery efforts, as well as implementing future protections from such an attack, could well be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, but crucially, the largest cost that they will occur is the immense damage done to their reputation. 

What can you do to help protect yourself and your business from the very real risk of malware or ransomware attack? The first and most effective way to keep your bases covered is to educate yourself and your team. There are countless blogs, websites, and programs available to help you equip your team with knowledge to help avoid these risks. Secondly, you should have a vulnerability assessment completed on your business to identify areas of risk and assess where and how you can be better protected. Finally, you should implement the recommendations provided, keep up to date, and test your users with one of the many tools available out there to identify where future risks may come from. 

Malware is most commonly delivered over email and as such, you should be extra vigilant before you ‘click that link’. 

  • Check the sender’s email address to confirm it matches what you should be expecting;  
  • don’t open any attachments unless you were directly expecting them;  
  • never follow a link from an untrusted source; and of course,  
  • if you haven’t been to South Australia, chances are that the emailed speeding fine is not for you. 

The most important lesson: always be on the lookout for anything that seems out of the ordinary. 

At AmbientIT, our highly skilled and experienced team can provide one central point of management for all your IT needs, manage your resources and providers and ensure you have the right advice with which to make your mission critical decisions.

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